Course details

  • Class meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00–3:15 PM, GOL-1620
  • Office hours: TBD
  • Final exam period: Tuesday, May 17 12:30–2:30 PM, GOL-1620

Course format

This is a seminar-style class. Students are expected to complete all background reading before class, to make presentations, ask questions, and offer their thoughts on topics being discussed. Students will complete individual assignments and one group project.

Course objectives

Students will…

  • understand where and how mobile HCI differs from HCI;
  • gain a foundation of contemporary and classic mobile HCI research;
  • identify and understand current challenges in mobile HCI;
  • learn to think beyond “brick” devices (e.g., phones, tables) to new
  • interaction modalities;
  • understand challenges in evaluating mobile interfaces.

Course materials

The book for the course is There’s Not an App For That by Simon Robinson, Matt Jones, and Gary Marsden. It is available via the campus bookstore as well as in digital form from online retailers such as Amazon.

We will read many papers in the course as well; most may be found on the ACM Digital Library, IEEExplore, or via Google Scholar.

Course policies

Late assignments

Assignments turned in within 24 hours after the due date/time will be worth 50% credit; for each subsequent 24 hours after the deadline, an additional 10% will be subtracted.


Students are expected to attend each class session, and to arrive on time. Students who miss class for any reason are responsible for gathering information about what was missed, and alerting the professor to how they will make up the in-class activities. No email, web surfing, texting, or phone use during class. Your attendance will impact your class participation grade.


During your project work, you may be coding. For some of the work you do, there will be resources you can find on the Internet. It’s okay to use libraries, code samples, and help from online, but you must give proper attribution to your sources! If you feel in doubt, err on the side of giving too much attribution rather than too little.

To give attribution for code, add a comment in your code clearly marking what you got from where, and include a list of sources in your Readme file that you turn in with each assignment.

To give attribution for ideas, images, papers, or anything else, include the source and a brief description of the material used in the relevant place (e.g. in the Readme for code, in your presentation if presenting, etc).

Academic integrity

Students should be sure to review RIT’s official policies concerning academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity (cheating, double submission, or plagiarism) will result in a failing grade for the entire class! In particular, for this class, this means that if you turn in material containing someone else’s work without giving proper attribution, or if you copy entirely another’s work without doing anything original yourself.

Note in that I am very unforgiving as regards academic integrity violations. I have failed students before for plagiarising work.

Assignments and grading

Reading summaries (9%)

We will read approximately three research papers each week. The papers will be assigned the Tuesday of the preceding week. Students are expected to read each paper each week and to turn in a brief summary via Slack; these summaries are due by the start of the class in which the paper will be discussed. See Reading Summaries Guidelines for more information.

Class presentation and discussion (20%)

Each student will teach one class, either presenting several papers and leading discussion, or presenting a technology tutorial on a relevant topic. See Paper Presentation Guidelines for more information.

Individual assignments (21%)

There will be three individual assignments throughout the course of the class, each worth 7% of your final grade.

Class participation (10%)

Much of the class will be discussion-based. There will also be in-class activities. This grade reflects the amount of participation during the class. Class participation means:

  • Asking questions
  • Responding to other students’ questions
  • Participating in discussion
  • Participating in in-class activities

If I don’t know who you are by halfway through the semester, you will not get a good grade in this category.

Project (40%)

Projects will be evaluated on several factors: the proposal, the post-feedback updated proposal, the mid-project check-ins, and the final presentation, paper, and deliverable (if applicable). See the Project Guidelines for more information.

Extra credit (5%)

There may be extra credit, worth up to 5%.